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George and Penny’s friendship grows at zoo

George and Penny
Alexandra Park Zoo's sulphar-crested cockatoos George and Penny can now get a little closer thanks to a chute between their cages.

Love might not be blooming for Alexandra Park Zoo's sulphur-crested cockatoos George and Penny just yet, but all of the plans are in place to ensure their friendship has room to grow with the introduction of a tunnel between their enclosures.

The pair met last year after George, who has been at the zoo since 1999, was in need of some companionship.

Penny had been donated to Alexandra Park Zoo from Flying High Bird Sanctuary and has been enjoying life in her enclosure next to George as the duo get used to one another.

Now, Alexandra Park Zoo Group Supervisor Kate Beskeen said plans had been implemented to form the next stage of their relationship, which included a tunnel to allow Penny and George to socialise with one another.

“The structure is a metal chute designed to allow Penny and George to interact safely,” she said.

“It spans the distance between enclosures allowing each bird the choice of entering the chute so they can get closer to one another and interact if they choose to.”

Kate said only George had braved the chute so far, with Penny a little more shy when it came to making the first move.

“George is bold, loud and loves attention while Penny is much quieter and will interact with cresting and movements over vocalisation,” Kate said.

“The idea of introducing the two is for companionship as cockatoos are highly social, spending much of their time in flocks.

“It is hoped, in time, they will become used to each other.

“The divide won’t be removed until positive interactions have been observed.”

About Alexandra Park Zoo

Alexandra Park Zoo is situated at 29 Quay Street.

The zoo is open from Wednesday to Sunday 9.30 am to 4.30 pm.

During the school holidays the zoo is open seven days a week.

Entry is free.

Find out more here.

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